We regret to inform you that the La`a Ka Pa-Kapala Sacred the Rhythms and Patterns Exhibit has been cancelled. Due to extenuating circumstances, the artists were not able to make the trip from Hawaii to Oakland.
Please review their biographies below and research their work. They are incredible artists with deep roots and traditions in Hawaii.
Research historian, lecturer, award-winning author, and artist, Lucia Tarallo is also co-founder and curator of the indigenous Hawai`i Maoli contemporary art collective, Hale Nauā III, Society of Maoli Arts. She has designed, mounted, and curated more than 150 fine art exhibitions, locally, nationally and internationally.
In 1976, during the height of the Hawaiian Renaissance, she made cultural history by coordinating the first native Hawaiian art exhibition, presented in the gallery at Honolulu Hale City Hall, which ushered in the contemporary Hawaiian art movement. At the Bishop Museum, Tarallo coordinated eleven major exhibitions, the first being in 1978 and the last in 2007. Two of those exhibits went on to travel to Austria, and two toured throughout the museums of the United States and Canada. This evolved into a Hale Nauā tour of Turning Back the Sky, an exhibit featuring native works that defined ancient astronomy and navigation; from 1995-1997 showing at some of the most prestigious museums on the Pacific Coast: San Diego’s Museum of Man, San Francisco’s Museum of Sciences, Seattle’s Burke Museum and Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology.
With famed artist Rocky Ka`iouliokahihikolo`Ehu Jensen, father of the Maoli contemporary art movement, she co-authored the seminal native art-culture book: Men of Ancient Hawai`i. She went on to pen several more: Lord of the Forest and `Ihi Kapu: Sacred Law of the `Ōlohe.
With her daughter, Natalie Mahina Jensen, she wrote the award-winning Daughters of Haumea, praised with the Po`okela Award of Excellence. For four years, she has written an art column for Ka Wai Ola, the newspaper for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, also for Nā `Ōiwi and now a frequent contributor to the Paradise Post. Her writings on Maoli culture are also included in countless magazines, newspapers, and academic art journals.
The recipient of countless awards from city, state and country, she was instrumental in coordinating the installation of the Hawaiian War Memorial at Fort DeRussy, Nā Lehua Helelei, sculpted by Rocky K. Jensen. In 2006, she toured California, Washington, and Oregon with lectures on the Daughters of Haumea and other subject concerning Hawaiian philosophy and history. The tour culminated in a stage production of Daughters of Haumea at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco under the directorship of dance and master choreographer, Patrick Makuakāne. In 2008, she collaborated again with Makuakāne with dances based on the challenges of Māui-a-Kalana, commissioned by the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco.
In partnership with her daughter Natalie Mahina Jensen, she has had several collaborative exhibitions. Mahina Jensen’s acrylic paintings are the visual components of poetry readings from Lucia’s recently completed book, Kāne Kēia, Wahine Kēlā, a lyrical translation and interpretation of the Kumulipo. 2014 ushered in the yearly Hale Nauā III exhibitions, at their new Hilo home, Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Arts, with the 2015 exhibit entitled The Last Truth, which will be toured.
In addition to her feather work, which is proudly displayed in collections all over the world, her writing and curatorial work of exhibitions, Lucia Tarallo has taught Hawaiian art history with programs established by the Bishop Museum, Edith Kanaka`ole Foundation, Nā Pua No`eau, Liliu`okalani Trust, Kamehameha Schools, Hawai`i Community College, and most recently at Ke Ana La`ahana Public Charter School.
Natalie Mahina Jensen
Born in Honolulu on August 12, 1969, and raised in Makaha on the island of O`ahu (Hawai`i) by an indigenous Kanaka Maoli father and Sicilian mother, Natalie Mahina was taken under the wing of those proficient in her Ancestor’s artistic traditions. She was educated and trained since childhood in Nā Mea Hulu, Native Hawaiian featherwork, later specializing in the Sculpted Feathered Staff called Kua Kāhili.
Her first art exhibit was at age eleven with Hale Nauā III, Society of Maoli Arts, a collective founded by her artist father, National Treasure Rocky Ka`iouliokahihikolo`Ehu Jensen, in 1976. By her eighteenth birthday, she had already been commissioned by the corporate, public, and private sectors to create a collection of feathered capes and Kāhili that grace more than a dozen public sites on the islands and abroad.
For many years, her feathered sculpture was given by the Hawai`i Visitor’s Bureau as their ultimate award for excellence. She continues to teach featherwork in workshops all over the State of Hawai`i and the U.S. continent. She also maintains a permanent position with the Hawaiian charter school Ke `Ana La`ahana on the Island of Hawai`i, where she teaches art to native intermediate and high school children.
Years of study and training prepared her well for yet another artistic discipline – Ho`oni`o, the application or painting in Polynesian abstracts and geometric designs – introducing into the modern, artistic consciousness the art form that had been perfected thousands of years ago by her Ancestors. Well versed in the metaphoric language of “ancestral design,” her artwork, whether it is in print, paintings or featherwork reflects the foundation upon which her culture is based – the reverence of Nature! Her goal is to share through her art, the fact that every line and every curve has meaning and was not used solely for decoration, the artistic reconfiguration of those designs continuing the ancient dialogue.
Professionally trained in photography, she chose to expand her field of expression, yet maintain her cultural identity – her heritage in the meticulous creation of period clothing and artifacts the focal point of her imagery. Having completed her most prodigious photographic series, Daughters of Haumea: Women of Ancient Hawai`i, created to compliment Ka Palapala Po`okela Award winning book written by her mother Lucia Tarallo, Natalie has gone on to not only tour the collection throughout the state of Hawai`i, but also exhibit the collection in galleries and museums on the continent as well. Her award winning photographs are now permanently on display at the Aulani Disney Resort on the island of O`ahu.
Aside from her artistic creativity in feathers, paintings and photography, Natalie Mahina designs and co-curates exhibitions for Hale Nauā III, her most recent being Pa`a Ka La`a, at the Bishop Museum in 2007, and Ho`oilina, shown at the Schaeffer International Gallery on Māui in 2008. The last design and installation was her one-woman exhibition at the Volcano Art Center on the island of Hawai`i in 2013. As one of the founding members of the Maoli Arts Alliance, she was instrumental in planting the seed that then became The Native Hawaiian Arts Market that happens yearly at the Bishop Museum.